Gov. Newsom signs Fair Pay to Play Act

California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 206, or the Fair Pay to Play Act, on Sep. 30, which will allow college athletes to receive compensation for their name, image and likeness and hire agents starting Jan. 1, 2023.

The bill goes against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) , which threatened to ban California from all competition. In addition to student athletes receiving compensation, they would no longer be stripped of scholarships by accepting payments.

University of Southern California, Stanford, California State Universities and the University of California system all opposed the bill, as they feared the NCAA would follow through and ban them from athletic events. In addition, universities fear the bill will raise costs to remain compliant with the new law. 

Gov. Newsom stated in a letter to the members of the California State Senate, “SB 206 addresses an injustice in our higher education system. Other college students with a talent, whether it be literature, music or technological innovation, can monetize their skill and hard work. Student athletes, however, are prohibited from being compensate(d) while their respective colleges and universities make millions, often at great risk to athletes’ health, academics and professional careers.” 

In a video posted on Twitter by Gov. Newsom in collaboration with LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers, the governor said, “It’s going to initiate dozens of other states to introduce similar legislation and it’s going to change college sports for the better.”

Currently under NCAA policy, athletes are prohibited from earning money from their school or likeness of their names, but the universities can pull in millions of dollars on their behalf. 

Imani Williams, a Cal Poly Pomona senior on the women’s track and field team, believes the bill pertains to athletes who have a large social media following.

“If actresses, singers … are getting paid a lot for (advertisements), I don’t know why (students) shouldn’t be either,” Williams said. “I feel like brands should be paying them for using them as advertisement.”

Senate Bill 206, signed by Gov. Newsom, allows college athletes to receive compensation for their image and likeness.
(Elizabeth Hernandez | The Poly Post)

Although Gov. Newsom has signed the bill, there are still plenty of uncertainties in regards to how the bill will function. The NCAA responded to Gov. Newsom’s decision to sign the bill stating that “the NCAA agrees changes are needed to continue to support student athletes, but improvement needs to happen on a national level through the NCAA’s rules-making process.”  

Student athletes’ schedules often consist of several training, recovery and practice sessions throughout the day, which leaves little to no time to obtain a job and earn money for daily life expenses. Under the current NCAA rules, students are extremely limited in ways they can receive compensation.

Ori Kenett, CPP’s men’s soccer captain and a senior, expressed both positive and negative aspects of the bill.

“Sometimes companies like Nike or Gatorade wants to sponsor you or any kind of sport performance company, so it might help the athletes individually and collectively as a team to enhance performance,” Kenett said. “The weaker teams, or the teams at the bottom of the table, will not be exposed to being sponsored and it might create an imbalance between the stronger and weaker teams.” 

The NCAA has also expressed a similar concern with the state of California, stating that the bill will give the state an unfair recruiting advantage over other universities. 

Drew Cowley, a junior on the CPP men’s baseball team, also sees the bill as a beneficial step in the right direction. “Your job pretty much is playing your sport and then going to school too,” Cowley said. “It’ll be interesting to see how it works when it is in effect; I think it’ll be good for everyone putting all their hard work in and it’s great.”

  • Show Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

You May Also Like

Track and Field competes at NCAA Championship

By Tammy Wong The Broncos competed in the NCAA Division II National Track and ...

Cross Country runs in CCAA championships

By David Wilson Cal Poly Pomona’s cross country teams competed in the California Collegiate ...

Coach Mason plans season to build great program

By Dennis Erturk For new women’s head soccer coach Jay Mason, the task of ...